Script Written by Nick Spake
Top 20 Hidden Celebrity Cameos in Movies
These actors stole the show, even if we didn’t realize it. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 20 Hidden Celebrity Cameos in Movies.
For this list, we’ll be looking at stars who made cameos in movies without the audience even noticing. Check their IMDb pages if you don’t believe us!
#20: Michael Caine
You can’t have a Christopher Nolan movie without Michael Caine, but the English actor flew under the radar in “Dunkirk.” While Caine doesn’t appear on screen, Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden do receive a radio message at one point from a familiar voice. It’s not easy to hear over the noisy planes, but if you listen closely, you can totally make out Caine’s signature cockney accent. Caine’s cameo as the Fortis Leader was a homage to his role in “Battle of Britain,” a 1969 World War II drama in which he played Squadron Leader Canfield. Almost five decades later, Caine is still fighting the same war.
#19: Bill Murray
“Dumb and Dumber To” (2013)
In this long-awaited sequel, the Farrelly Brothers not only reunited with stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, but Bill Murray as well. If you missed Murray, that’s because he was hidden under a HAZMAT suit. Returning home for the first time in 20 years, Lloyd learns that Harry has been sharing the apartment with a mysterious man named Ice Pick. Calling Walter White to mind, Murray’s character makes a living by cooking – ahem – “rock candy” that people and cats go crazy for. The movie might be called “Dumb and Dumber To,” but this is actually a pretty clever Easter egg that only the most attentive moviegoers caught.
#18: Steven Spielberg
“The Blues Brothers” (1980)
The climax of this comedy classic throws in everything but the kitchen sink. With the police, firefighters, and even the military pursuing the Blues Brothers, it’s easy to miss arguably the most iconic director alive. As the world outside his office erupts in chaos, a Cook County Assessor played by Steven Spielberg obliviously eats his sandwich. Lunch is interrupted by Jake and Elwood, who pay their taxes just before the authorities cuff them. Spielberg signs the receipt with the name “R.J. Daley,” a subtle nod to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. One year before “Blues Brothers,” Spielberg notably directed John Belushi in the war comedy “1941.” By the way, don’t be surprised if Dan Aykroyd pops up in a Spielberg picture later on.
#17: Jim Carrey
“Liar Liar” (1997)
We know what you’re thinking. Jim Carrey was the lead in “Liar Liar.” How could he have a cameo in his own star vehicle? Well, remember that scene where Fletcher Reede gets injured at the airport? Look closely as his family shoves their way through a crowd of people. In the background, you might recognize a grinning fireman hidden behind a pair of shades. It’s none other than Carrey, standing just a few feet away from Fletcher. This is apparently supposed to be Fire Marshall Bill, a recurring character Carrey portrayed on “In Living Color.” Hey, if Ace Ventura and Stanley Ipkiss can exist in the same universe, why not Fletcher and Bill?
#16: Garrett Morris
When Scott Lang takes his Ant-Man suit for a test drive, he lands on the roof of a car parked outside. The driver is played by comedian Garrett Morris, who was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” from 1975 to 1980. At first, this may seem like a random cameo, but hardcore “SNL” fans will notice its significance. In a sketch entitled “Superhero Party,” Morris appeared as Ant-Man, along with host Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Bill Murray as Superman, and various others. While a parody, this was technically the first live-action portrayal of Ant-Man. Ant-Man is heckled by the Flash and Hulk, who don’t think his powers are anything particularly special. Ant-Man and his costume have certainly come a long way since then.
#15: Nathan Fillion
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)
Nathan Fillion is a regular in director James Gunn’s movies. He’s also best known for playing Malcolm Reynolds, one of the most beloved starship captains of all time. Naturally, Fillion had to pop up somewhere in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Even the most diehard sci-fi fans missed his cameo, though. Upon arriving at the Kyln, our heroes come face to face with numerous monstrous inmates. Fillion voices a blue thug that gives Peter Quill an especially hard time. Luckily, Groot has Peter’s back and... the thug’s nose.
#14: Kristen Wiig
This film follows the romance between a man named Theodore and an OS named Samantha. Before Theodore falls for the disembodied voice of his dreams, he tries to make a connection with a fellow lonely soul. An unseen Kristen Wiig voices Sexy Kitten, a woman that can’t sleep and wants to have some fun. Initially, she seems like an ideal candidate for a phone sex hookup. When she starts talking about dead cats, however, Theodore suddenly loses his sex drive. Many people didn’t recognize Wiig’s voice, although they probably should’ve in retrospect. After all, she’s one of the few comedians that could pull this role off with just the right balance of quirkiness and kinkiness.
#13: Cameron Crowe
“Minority Report” (2002)
Not even the precogs could have foreseen this cameo. Wanted for a crime that hasn’t happened yet, Chief John Anderton’s name and face are soon plastered over every newspaper. Anderton is spotted by a passenger sitting across from him on a train. Even if you don’t recognize the passenger, you might’ve seen some of his movies, which include “Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire,” and “Say Anything…” Cameron Crowe isn’t the only famous face on this train, as Cameron Diaz can also be seen sitting behind him. What’s the common thread here? One year earlier, director Steven Spielberg made an uncredited cameo as a party guest in Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky,” which starred Diaz and Tom Cruise. Could it be that this whole movie was just a simulated reality?
#12: Paul Reubens
“Batman Returns” (1992)
Previously working with Tim Burton on “Pee-wee's Big Adventure”, Reuben's appearance in “Batman Returns” saw him play a completely different kind of character. Perhaps that’s why he slipped by, unnoticed. The usually eccentric Reubens stars as Tucker Cobblepot, a restrained, distant man who views his newly born son as an abomination. Along with his equally heartless wife, played by fellow “Pee-wee” alumnus Diane Salinger, Reubens’ character dumps young Oswald into the sewers where a family of penguins awaits. Although nobody caught the cameo at first, this has since become one of Reubens’ most memorable roles. Perhaps because of this, Reuben's would go on to play Penguin's father again in the TV series “Gotham.”
#11: Ron Jeremy
When the Ghostbusters’ containment unit goes haywire, New York is turned into a hot zone for paranormal activity. For our money, the strangest sight here isn’t the explosion, but one of the onlookers. To most people, this bearded New Yorker may seem like another extra. However, SOME viewers may remember him from such films as “Suzie Superstar” and “Playin’ Dirty” - and those are among the tamer titles in his filmography. In 2011, Ron Jeremy would actually star in an adult film parody entitled “This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX.” We won’t go into great detail for obvious reasons, but let’s just say that Jeremy’s appearance as an old librarian is a clever reference to this cameo.
#10: Brad Pitt
“Deadpool 2” (2018)
The Vanisher remains invisible until his days with X-Force come to an abrupt end. In a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment, Brad Pitt makes a shocking and hilariously brief cameo as Vanisher flies into a telephone pole. It’s a brilliant waste of a great actor and the cameo is only made funnier when you consider that Pitt was originally in talks to play Cable before scheduling interfered. So, instead of playing Cable, he got electrocuted by some cables. Pitt’s not the only “Ocean’s Eleven” actor present. An unrecognizable Matt Damon also appears as a beer-bellied redneck named Dickie Greenleaf, who’s clearly gone through some changes since “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Oh, and the other guy talking to Damon about toilet paper? That’s Alan Tudyk!
#9: Jimmy Buffett
“Jurassic World” (2015)
“Jurassic World” is wall to wall with product placement, but let’s be honest. If a Jurassic theme park was real, it would probably have more corporate sponsors than dinosaurs. Among the many brand names in the film is Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. When the pterosaurs break free from their aviary, the Margaritaville patrons are forced to flee for their lives. In the midst of all this anarchy, one man grabs two large margarita glasses before taking off. This margarita enthusiast is Jimmy Buffett himself. Producer Frank Marshall has snuck Buffett into a few of his films over the years, including “Hook.” This is easily Buffett’s most meta cameo, however. While we never learn the fate of Buffett’s character, the Margaritaville was the climax’s greatest casualty.
#8: Lucy Lawless
We all know that Bruce Campbell appeared throughout the original “Spider-Man” trilogy, but he’s not the only actor with close ties to director Sam Raimi. As Spider-Man rises up as the hero New York needs, several residents share their thoughts on the web-slinger. A punk rock woman is turned on by the idea of a guy with eight hands. Given that she’s best known for playing the titular character in “Xena: Warrior Princess,” it likely didn’t occur to you that this New Yorker is Lucy Lawless. Raimi actually helped develop the “Xena” TV series, which was co-created by Lawless’ husband, Robert Tapert. Of course, we’re still waiting for an official crossover between Spidey and Xena. That’s gotta exist somewhere in the Spider-Verse, right?
#7: Dan Aykroyd
“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)
We now go from one Ghostbuster to another. Trying to escape from Shanghai, Indy and his friends get some help from a British military officer named Art Weber. Dan Aykroyd plays Weber, although it likely took audiences multiple viewings to realize this. It’s easy to overlook Aykroyd’s presence since the camera never zooms in on his face. Plus, he puts on a thick English accent and delivers his lines at a rapid pace. Aykroyd isn’t the only big name that makes an appearance in this scene. Director Steven Spielberg, co-writer George Lucas, associate producer Kathleen Kennedy, and executive producer Frank Marshall can all be spotted at the airport. Talk about cameo overload!
#6: George Harrison
“Monty Python’s Life of Brian” (1979)
You may be surprised by the sheer number of times George Harrison has crossed paths with the Monty Python crew. Eric Idle directed a music video for “Crackerbox Palace” and Harrison was a producer for “The Lumberjack Song.” The former Beatle even helped get “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” off the ground, forming HandMade Films to finance the picture. Since this comedy classic probably wouldn’t exist without Harrison, the least the filmmakers could do was give him a cameo. As Brian makes his way through a crowd, Harrison can be seen greeting the so-called Messiah. Harrison’s character is named Mr. Papadopoulis, the Mount’s owner. Although he didn’t get much screen time, it’s safe to say that Harrison was this production’s savior.
#5: Cate Blanchett
“Hot Fuzz” (2007)
Cate Blanchett took a break from Oscar-winning dramas to make an appearance in this laugh a minute comedy... not that you'd notice. Playing Janine, Nick Angel’s ex-girlfriend, she is concealed under a mask and coveralls, which not only hides Blanchett but means her character blends in with everyone else at a crime scene. Angel can’t even differentiate who’s who as he attempts to bid his former lover farewell. Since Blanchett is arguably the most accomplished performer in the movie, you’d think that the filmmakers would at least show her whole face. Yet, the filmmakers clearly went out of their way to make sure nobody in the audience spotted her. This just makes her uncredited cameo all the more hilarious.
#4: Stephen Colbert
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013)
If you haven’t noticed, Stephen Colbert is a pretty big “Lord of the Rings” fan. As a matter of fact, Peter Jackson has described him as the biggest “Tolkien geek” he’s ever met. In “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Jackson finally gave the comedian a chance to visit Middle-earth. Since this franchise has so many characters, it isn’t surprising that Colbert got lost in the shuffle. However, he can briefly be seen as a Lake-town spy. He’s only onscreen for a few seconds, but at least Colbert can say that he’s officially part of Tolkien Mythology. Colbert returned the favor by letting Smaug crash in on “The Colbert Report.”
#3: Glenn Close
“Hook” has a couple fun cameos, but this one is by far the sneakiest. Hiding an Oscar-nominated actress in plain sight is no easy task, but director Steven Spielberg pulled it off in this scene. Captain Hook isn’t at all pleased with fellow pirate Gutless, played by an unrecognizable Glenn Close. As punishment for doubting him, Hook condemns Gutless to the boo box with a couple scorpions. Although Gutless is supposedly a man, it wasn’t uncommon for women to disguise themselves as male pirates, so perhaps that’s the basis behind this cameo. It also wouldn’t be the last time Close has done drag.
#2: Steve Buscemi
John Travolta and Uma Thurman are nothing short of captivating during the Jack Rabbit Slim's scene in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.” Since all eyes are on these two, audiences often fail to notice Steve Buscemi as their waiter. Dressed as Buddy Holly, Buscemi’s character serves up a bloody as hell steak and a five-dollar shake with no bourbon. Buscemi previously played Mr. Pink in Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”, which is technically set in the same universe. Does this mean that the waiter is actually Mr. Pink hiding from the police? If so, he’s doing a great job at keeping a low profile.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“10 Cloverfield Lane” (2016)
“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015)
#1: Daniel Craig
“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015)
Daniel Craig has become iconic for his portrayal of James Bond, but that’s not the only blockbuster franchise he’s taken part in. Everyone was stunned to learn that Craig played a Stormtrooper in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Which Stormtrooper, you ask? Remember the soldier that was put in charge of guarding Rey on Starkiller Base? The one Rey completely mind-tricked and forced to remove her restrains, leave the cell open, and drop his weapon? Daniel Craig. What makes this cameo especially ingenious is that the Stormtrooper is named JB-007, a clear homage to James Bond and his codename. Well played, Abrams, well played.